Aura smart sleep mask review

An immersive bedtime experience

A side image of the Aura smart sleep mask
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Aura smart sleep mask combines total blackout with integrated sound and light to create an immersive wind-down experience. The sunrise alarm clock offers a gentle wake-up, while the buildable soundscape provides customization options. However, the high price tag is hard to justify, especially as it’s not a particularly user friendly design.


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    Blocks out all light

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    Stays in place overnight

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    Sunrise alarm function

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    Large sound library

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    Immersive meditation


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    Limited app functionality

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    Awkward button placement

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    Not suitable for front sleepers

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Aura smart sleep mask: two-minute review

The Aura smart sleep mask uses light and sound to transform a basic eye mask into a mindful, immersive experience. I tried sleeping with the Aura mask for a week, and as someone uses an eye mask every night, I was excited to see whether a smart upgrade really could improve my rest.

Crafted with integrated speakers and an in-built ‘glow’ light, the sleep mask connects to the Aura app to provide a customizable sleep experience. You can mix and match ASMR sounds, guided meditations, and nature soundscapes to craft a meditative wind-down routine, while in the morning, the sunrise function gently wakes you up with light and sound.

The basic design of the Aura mask is excellent. The sculpted interior ‘Hug’ cushion keeps the pressure off your face and blocks light completely, while the anti-slip straps hold the mask in place even over restless nights. Back and side sleepers should be able to get comfortable, but stomach sleepers are likely to find the mask presses into the face.

A side view of the Aura smart sleep mask

A side view of the Aura smart sleep mask (Image credit: Future)

Thanks to the blackout effect and calming sounds, it’s easy to get immersed in the Aura experience. If you’re struggling to find a mindful headspace before bed, the Aura separates you from the outside world while encouraging relaxation. And with a lightweight build and easy charging method, you can take the Aura’s calming techniques with you when you travel.

However, it’s expensive for a sleep mask, and I’m not sure the features entirely justify the price. There are some issues with the user experience and the app is basic, which seems at odds with the price tag. The Aura is a product like no other, and if you want a more mindful bedtime routine (especially on the go) it might be worth the money. But if it’s just better sleep you’re after, a basic eye mask is probably the better starting place. 

I tested the Aura smart sleep mask in Midnight Black, which is available for pre-order and will be released 14th March. The Aura smart sleep mask original was launched in November 2023. and is available for purchase from Aura.

Aura smart sleep mask: price

  • MSRP US$358 / £285 / €339.95, often discounted to US$229 / £182 / €218.95
  • Aura app is free to use
  • 1 year warranty for the mask, Hug insert has a 3 month warranty

The Aura smart sleep mask has an MSRP of $329, although it’s regularly discounted, so don’t expect to pay full price. Aura has previously discounted the original sleep mask by up to 40 per cent, taking it down to $199.

Even at a discount, this is an expensive buy, especially considering a basic sleep mask is only a few dollars. However, the Aura is pretty unique. While blackout masks, sleep masks with integrated speakers, and sunrise alarm clocks exist separately, as far as I can tell the Aura is the only one that combines all three.

Aura offers a one year warranty for the mask, while the interior insert has a three month warranty. The app is free to download and doesn’t require a subscription to use it. This gives you access to the full range of features at no extra cost – a welcome bonus, as you can’t use the mask without the app. It’s not unusual for smart products to charge an app subscription cost on top of the original price, so I certainly appreciate that the Aura doesn’t require this. 

Is the Aura mask worth it? Thinking of it less as a sleep mask with some added features and more as a sunrise alarm clock with a speaker, a blackout design, and excellent portability, the cost is somewhat justified. There are limited uses to the Aura, but for those after improved mindfulness before bed, the mask delivers.

Aura smart sleep mask: design

  • Magnetic 3D Hug insert relieves pressure at the eye area
  • Velcro strap for a secure fit
  • USB-C charger included

The Aura looks like a bigger, bulkier version of a standard sleep mask, but the simple design hides everything interesting happening underneath. Available in two colors – gray and black – the Aura has a sleek appeal. A few interesting colorways would be welcome, especially considering the price, but the overall look is stylish.

Inside sits a detachable 3D Hug band. This is a sculpted, cushioned band that sticks to the interior of the mask with a magnet, taking the pressure off the face while blocking all light. The outer material and the interior Hug are both soft against the skin, and the 3D effect prevents the mask from damaging the eyelashes. Straps at the back use velcro for an adjustable fit, with an anti-slip design to prevent the mask from moving around in the night. 

The interior of the Aura smart sleep mask, including hug cushion and glow bar

The straps use velcro to allow for a snug fit (Image credit: Future)

Hidden inside the mask is a set of ultra-slim speakers. Because the speakers aren’t set directly over the ears, there is some sound leakage – if you share a bed, your partner is likely to hear what’s coming from your mask, although not clearly. 

Sitting just in front of the eye line on the interior of the mask is a small ‘glow’ bar. This is a gentle light, but when the mask is closed, it does flood the space. It’s also not visible from the outside when wearing the mask.

Aura claims the battery lasts for seven nights of normal use, which I found accurate. However, the battery life does depend on usage – if you choose a particularly long soundscape, expect the battery to drain quicker. A light on the mask indicates when the battery is running low, and you can check battery life by connecting to the app. As the Aura charges directly via the cable, you can’t comfortably use the mask when it’s charging. 

A front view of the Aura smart sleep mask

The button on the front sits under the fabric, so you have to feel around for it (Image credit: Future)

Weighing 4.59oz (130g), this is heavier than your average sleep mask, but feels surprisingly light on the face. It’s also light and compact enough to travel with. The Aura does come with a small bag that I assume is for traveling, but it’s very hard to actually get the mask in there, so it might serve some other purpose I’m not aware of. (Aura reached out to me to explain that this bag is a laundry bag for the Hug cushion, to keep it protected during a machine wash. Even without the bag, I maintain it would be easy to travel with the Aura.)

The interior Hug band is removable and can be machine or hand washed with mild detergent. Leave it to dry completely before reattaching to your mask. The mask itself is spot clean-only, and you should avoid getting it wet.

Aura smart sleep mask: features

  • 100 per cent blackout eye mask
  • Integrated speakers play customizable soundscapes
  • Glow light provides a sunrise alarm effect

At a basic level, the Aura is a 100 per cent blackout sleep mask. Thanks to the thick fabric and molded shape, no light can get in from any side, leaving you in total darkness. While it does rely slightly on the contours of your face roughly matching the Hug insert, for most people, the Aura should block essentially all light.

But this is the simplest function of the Aura. The Aura is a smart sleep mask, able to connect via Bluetooth to the Aura app to play sound, light, and act as an alarm. As well as white noise for sleep, the Aura offers guided meditations, nature soundscapes, and ASMR, which you can schedule and customize depending on whether you’re waking up, going to sleep, napping, or meditating. Because it uses Bluetooth, you can also play your own music through the Aura…  although I wouldn’t recommend it, as I’ll discuss in the performance section below.

The glow bar on the inside of the Aura smart sleep mask, surrounded by the 3D hug cushion

The 'glow' bar is small, but it fully lights up the interior of the mask (Image credit: Future)

As well as soundscapes, the Aura also contains a sunrise light. This gentle glow bar is located on the interior of the mask, and it pulses along with certain meditations and noises. It also acts as a sunrise alarm clock, with the light gradually increasing at your chosen wake-up time, for a gentle start to the morning. 

The Aura app has its own set of features, but it’s primarily used to control the Aura. While there’s a small sleep diary, its functions are minimal, and it primarily tracks your chosen wake-up and sleep times. The app also sends occasional notifications, indicating it’s time to nap, get ready for bed. These need a bit of fine tuning – I received a wake-up notification several minutes after the alarm had gone off, when I’d already disconnected the Aura and closed the app, for instance. 

Aura smart sleep mask: performance

  • Comfortable fit that stays in place during the night
  • Immersive experience from blackout design and speakers
  • App is basic and not particularly user-friendly

First, let’s talk about the Aura as a sleep mask. It’s soft against the face, with the velcro strap allowing you to create a close and secure fit. The inner Hug cushion is sculpted to the eye area and even with the straps as tight as they would go, it’s comfortable and won’t press against your eyes. An anti-slip coating prevents the Aura from moving during the night if, like me, you toss and turn.

This contoured fit prevents light from leaking in around the edges of the mask, creating a 100 per cent blackout effect. With the mask on, it’s honestly hard to tell if it’s day or night. As someone who struggles to sleep with even small amounts of light in the room, this is a real bonus. But this close fit did come with a slight downside – it could get warm. However, this is an issue with many eye masks. 

The 3D cushioned Hug mask, removed from the Aura smart sleep mask

The 3D Hug cushion, which sits around the eye area (Image credit: Future)

With the Aura you get the basic benefits of a sleep mask, plus a lot more additional features. Using the Aura app, I designed a series of soundscapes for meditation and to help me fall asleep. With white noise, meditation tracks, ASMR, and nature sounds to choose from, there’s enough variety to suit the majority of sleepers. It was fun to craft these soundscapes, and while I normally kept my sessions under the 30 minute mark, you could push it much longer if you wanted sounds to last for most of the night.

The in-built speakers gave the Aura something of a surround sound effect which, combined with the total blackout, made for a deeply immersive experience. I often struggle to concentrate during meditation – the urge to peek is just too strong. With the Aura, it was much easier to get into the serene headspace and stay there. Plus, because the mask was already on my face and the alarm was set, at the end of the soundscape, I simply had to lie down and go to sleep. No disruptions to my calm mood.

That’s at the start of the night. For the morning, you can use the app to set an alarm for your chosen wake-up time. When the time comes, the ‘glow’ light will gradually illuminate, simulating a sunrise, before the sound kicks in.

The Aura Smart sleep mask in the box it came in

The Aura sleep mask was easy to set up (Image credit: Future)

The wake-up is impressively effective, with the light and sound coming together to create the feeling of a natural beginning to the morning. I did find it a little slow at waking me up, but that’s by design – this isn’t the jarring alert of a standard alarm. However, I always set the alarm to start a few minutes before I actually wanted to wake up, so it had time to work. 

Aura claims the mask is side sleeper-friendly, and I found this largely accurate. Sometimes it took a minute of adjustment to get my head, the mask, and the pillow just right, but after that, the mask stayed comfortably in place. 

I also found it much easier to get comfortable when I switched my pillow. I usually sleep on a medium-firm, all-foam pillow. The foam gently contours to your head, but it doesn’t have a huge amount of give (read my Levitex pillow review to learn exactly what it’s like). When I used a feather pillow with more yield, there was less pressure from the mask overall. If you’re interested in the Aura, consider what’s the best pillow to suit this smart mask. 

The tester using the Aura sleep mask while lying on their back

The sleep mask is most comfortable for back sleepers (Image credit: Future)

Back sleepers shouldn’t have any issues with the mask, however, it’s not recommended for stomach sleepers. The sides of the mask press into the face, so unless you twist your neck all the way around, it's pretty uncomfortable in this position. 

Connecting the Aura to the app was easy, although I question why the power button is in the middle of the face, rather than along the top bar with the rest of the buttons. With the mask on, it’s hard to locate just where the button is. I spent the first part of any mindfulness session randomly pressing my face and hoping for the best. It’s easier to find when you don’t have the mask on, but then it’s a rush to get comfortable before your soundscape starts.

As it uses a Bluetooth connection, you can also use the Aura to listen to your own music or meditations. However, I don’t recommend it. While the speakers are fine for meditations and white noise, there are some obvious issues with sound quality when listening to music. It’s definitely not good enough to replace a set of headphones. 

The buttons at the top of the Aura smart sleep mask

The volume control and charging port are at the top of the mask (Image credit: Future)

The app itself has room for growth. There’s a sleep diary with space to record my wake up time and sleep time, plus an emotion and a gratitude prompt. It doesn't record any additional information about sleep quality – you'll need one of the best sleep trackers for that – but this isn't a major downside, as the mask isn't equipped to note that sort of data. The bigger issue is that the sleep diary function is limited and not particularly intuitive. Overall, the app could be more user-friendly – the design seems to prioritize minimalism over navigation, which did not put me in a very mindful place. However, I appreciate that this is a free app, and as the Aura is a relatively new product, there’s plenty of time for development in this area.

The mask isn’t the most user-friendly design and it has limited uses. For example, while the immersive experience is great for meditation, the blackout effect means it’s no good during yoga. 

But used before bed, the Aura has some real benefits. The combination of blackout and sunrise light allows you to really tap into your circadian rhythms. At night, I could drift off in darkness, while in the morning, natural-seeming light helped gently wake me up. For meditation, the Aura can improve concentration for anyone with wandering thoughts, and I could see the same benefit if you’re struggling to sleep from stress or anxiety. By balancing mindfulness with real-world features, the Aura can be a helpful addition to the pre-bed routine.

Aura smart sleep mask: should I buy it?

Buy it if...

✅ You’re sensitive to light: Sleep masks are excellent at blocking light in the evening, making it easier to fall asleep. However, that same blackout effect can be problematic in the morning, when you need light to wake you up. The Aura navigates this issue by incorporating light into the mask itself, waking you up with a natural seeming daylight.

You struggle to concentrate during meditation: As someone who gets distracted easily during meditation, the Aura sleep mask helped me add some mindfulness to my bedtime. Surrounded by sound and with a total blackout, you’re pretty much forced to concentrate. And with the velcro straps keeping the mask close to your face, there’s no temptation to peek. 

You travel frequently: A lightweight build makes the Aura easy to travel with, while the total blackout effect and immersive soundscapes can help you relax even in unfamiliar, noisy, and bright environments. And thanks to the glow effect alarm, early morning flights might feel less disruptive (there’s even a pre-flight anxiety meditation).

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a tight budget: You could buy a lifetime's supply of standard sleep masks for the same price as the Aura. Of course, you won’t get the light and sound functions that make this smart mask standout, but if you just want a darker night, it’s not worth the money. And if only one of the smart features appeals to you (for example. Integrated speakers) there are cheaper options available. 

You sleep on your stomach: The sculpted face of the Aura sleep mask presses into the face in most stomach sleeping positions, requiring multiple adjustments to get comfortable. Whether you spend the entire night on your front or you're a combination sleeper who moves around, there are some sleep positions that just don’t work with the Aura.

You want all your sleep tracking in one place: The Aura app is free but basic and the sleep diary is bare bones. While I didn’t expect the app to track my sleep, I would have appreciated a little more functionality. Overall, it’s not the most intuitive design to use, and it seems like a missed opportunity. A functioning sleep diary plus more space to record your thoughts and mood would have really added to the experience.

Aura smart sleep mask: How I tested

I tested the Aura smart sleep mask for a week, using it both before bed as part of my wind-down routine and in bed to help me sleep and wake me up in the morning. I tested during a mild spring in Wales, in a room without blackout curtains. I also used the Aura around other people, to see how much sound traveled.

Ruth Jones
Staff Writer

Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.